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Serving Sri Lanka

This web log is a news and views blog. The primary aim is to provide an avenue for the expression and collection of ideas on sustainable, fair, and just, grassroot level development. Some of the topics that the blog will specifically address are: poverty reduction, rural development, educational issues, social empowerment, post-Tsunami relief and reconstruction, livelihood development, environmental conservation and bio-diversity. 

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Farmers must benefit from linkages in introducing new technology- Prof. R. O. Thattil

Daily News: 20/04/2006: By Irangika Range

FARMING TECHNOLOGY: The Government, research institutions and private sector should play a meaningful role in taking new technologies to farmers. There is a need to ensure that farmers get the benefits of new technologies, being developed in agriculture in the country.

Director of the Postgraduate Institute of Agriculture(PGIA) Prof. R.O. Thattil said there should be a proper linkage between related government bodies who prepare and implement national agriculture policies and research institutes and universities, to ensure the proper utilisation of new technology to promote agriculture.

"The PGIA conducts research on various agriculture aspects including genetics and breeding, biotechnology, horticulture, forestry and agroforesty, agri-business management, bio-statistics, livestock production, fisheries and food technology covering technical, socio-economic and environmental aspects.

Thattil said these new technologies need to be taken to the farmers without much of a time lag.

"Missing of proper coordination between the policy makers and research institutes is a major drawback to ensure the speedy development of the sector," he said.

He said although many institutes and universities introduce new technologies, they don't have much capacity to introduce them among the farmers.

"It is a large scale work and related government bodies should include these new proposals into the policy framework. They should also play an active role to implement these policies in the field. More field work should be done by agriculture extension officers to educate farmers in adopting new technology to increase their food and animal productivity. If related bodies can continue these types of awareness programmes, we can expect more development in the industry," he said.

He said farmers are somewhat slow in adopting the new technologies and many education programmes on pre and post harvest, management and market should be conducted for the benefit of farmers.

The PGIA has done research on various agricultural aspects. Introduction of more productive seeds to produce high quality chillies and paddy is one of the successful areas.

He said most of the farmers don't have a good idea of the accurate applying of pesticide, insecticide and fertiliser to their cultivation.

"We have done many trials and experiments on various crops and it should be popularised among the farmers. Weeds are also a major problem for the farmers and the PGIA has done research to kill the weeds using bio-controlling applications.

The industry should follow post harvest techniques to reduce the damage and to store their crops without having them perish.

There are many possibilities to generate bio-organic fertiliser using wastage at the farms.

Solid waste management systems and technologies of food science and animal science would also lead to the high yielding production of farmers.

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